The key difference between alpha lipoic acid and alpha linolenic acid is that the alpha lipoic acid can be synthesized by the body while the alpha linolenic acid cannot be synthesized by the body; hence, must be obtained from the diet.
Alpha lipoic acid is an antioxidant found throughout the body. Alpha linolenic acid, also known as omega-3 fatty acid, is an essential fatty acid that should be taken in the diet. Both acids are important for human health. They have several health benefits hence they are taken as supplements as well.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Alpha Lipoic Acid
3. What is Alpha Linolenic Acid
4. Similarities Between Alpha Lipoic Acid and Alpha Linolenic Acid
5. Side by Side Comparison – Alpha Lipoic Acid vs Alpha Linolenic Acid in Tabular Form
What is Alpha Lipoic Acid?
Alpha lipoic acid is a very important antioxidant found throughout our body. It is a vitamin-like antioxidant, which is soluble both in water and fat. Our body cells can synthesize alpha lipoic acid. Furthermore, it can be taken from the diet as well. Thus, the main function of the alpha lipoic acid is the neutralization of free radicals generating during the energy production. They are able to scavenge free radicals. Hence, they prevent the damages occur to cells by free radicals. Other than this, alpha lipoic acid can recharge other antioxidants, which is a very good property that helps to total neutralization of harmful free radicals.
Moreover, these molecules work alongside the enzymes in mitochondria during the conversion of glucose into ATP. Another function of this molecule is its ability to reduce blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. And it can cure peripheral neuropathies as well. One disadvantage of this molecule is its ability to cause hypoglycemia if it interacts with insulin.
Though our body can produce alpha lipoic acid, we can take them as supplements which come as capsules or injections. And also these molecules naturally occur in red meat, organ meat (liver) and brewer’s yeast.
What is Alpha Linolenic Acid?
Alpha linolenic acid is an essential fatty acid. That means, it cannot be synthesized by our body, hence should be taken in the diet. It is an omega-3 fatty acid which concentrates more on brain tissues. The highest concentration of this molecule occurs in flaxseeds and its oil. Other than that, canola, soybeans, perilla, walnut oils are good sources of alpha linolenic acid.
The major role of alpha linolenic acid in our body is the reduction of inflammation and related diseases such as arthritis and asthma. Furthermore, it is a component of the cell membrane. It plays a role in brain health by reducing depression, involving growth and developments, etc. as well. Another important function of alpha linolenic acid is the fighting against heart diseases and high blood pressure. However, one disadvantage of this molecule is that it may cause increased bleeding when interacting with blood thinner medications.
What are the Similarities Between Alpha Lipoic Acid and Alpha Linolenic Acid?
- Both are sometimes abbreviated ALA.
- Alpha Lipoic Acid and Alpha Linolenic Acid play a role in human health.
- Both can be taken as supplements.
- They have advantages as well as disadvantages.
What is the Difference Between Alpha Lipoic Acid and Alpha Linolenic Acid?
Alpha lipoic acid and alpha linolenic acid are two important molecules for human health. The alpha lipoic acid is an antioxidant, which can be synthesized by our body while the alpha linolenic acid is an essential fatty acid, which cannot be synthesized by our body.
The below infographic presents the detailed difference between alpha lipoic acid and alpha linolenic acid in tabular form.
Summary – Alpha Lipoic Acid vs Alpha Linolenic Acid
Alpha lipoic acid and alpha linolenic acid are two important molecules for human health. Alpha lipoic acid is an antioxidant, which helps to neutralize free radicals. On the other hand, alpha-linolenic acid is an essential fatty acid required in the diet for good health. It serves as a precursor for lipids and different physiological functions. It is a polyunsaturated fatty acid since it contains multiple double bonds. Alpha-linolenic acid mainly involves the reduction of inflammation in our body. Alpha lipoic acid can be synthesized within the cells while alpha linolenic acid cannot be synthesized by our body. This is the difference between alpha lipoic acid and alpha linolenic acid.
1.“Alpha-Linolenic Acid: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Dosage, and Warning.” WebMD, WebMD. Available here
2.“Alpha-Linolenic Acid.” Egyptian Journal of Medical Human Genetics, Elsevier. Available here